The human foot is a tremendously complicated structure that’s subjected to a shocking amount of stress. It’s hardly any wonder that foot problems are both common and potentially debilitating. Fortunately, medical science has found ways to deal with many of the common problems that can affect your feet. For a long time, Mortons neuroma was one of the harder foot ailments to effectively resolve. The latest and greatest Mortons neuroma treatments are changing all of that.
What Is Mortons Neuroma?
Mortons neuroma is a very specific source of recurrent plantar foot pain. It starts when a plantar nerve in the metatarsal spaces becomes trapped between either the bones of the foot or their associated ligaments. Over time, this makes the nerve swell. Eventually, the swollen nerve starts to send pain signals whenever it’s compressed.
Mortons neuroma can lead to recurrent burning, stinging sensations, the feeling of a “phantom pebble” in your shoe, or numbness around the plantar area (i.e the ball of your foot). Changing your footwear, using orthotics, or undergoing physical therapy can often provide effective relief for pain caused by a neuroma, but they do not treat the underlying cause.
Surgery For Mortons Neuroma And Its Risks
There is a surgical solution for mortons neuroma – a neurectomy. This involves physically extracting the thickened nerve to prevent further pain. Neurectomy is an extremely demanding procedure. Neither of the two approach options is favorable. Going in through the top of the foot requires permanently cutting a ligament. Going in from the bottom requires an extremely lengthy recovery which practically immobilizes the patient.
Worse than the immediate difficulties surrounding the surgical procedure is the fact that it’s frequently ineffective. Up to one-third of the patients who get a neurectomy will later experience more neuroma symptoms due to the formation of scar tissue. Subsequent corrective surgeries increase the risk of complications and don’t offer any improved odds of permanent relief.
Better Alternatives To Surgery
Fortunately, you have other choices! There is a range of new, minimally-invasive Mortons neuroma treatments that are proving to be much more effective. These include neurolytic injections (killing the affected nerve with concentrated alcohol), radiofrequency ablation (killing it with heat), and cryotherapy ablation (killing it with cold). All of these treatments are more effective when they take advantage of ultrasound guidance.
If you’d like to explore effective treatment options for Mortons neuroma, consulting with a specialized provider like the Center for Mortons Neuroma (https://www.mortonsneuroma.com) is an excellent idea. They can provide full details on the procedures mentioned above, as well as data on even more cutting-edge therapeutic options like stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma injection.
If you or someone you know has a diagnosed or suspected case of Mortons neuroma, don’t assume that your options are limited to lifestyle changes or surgery. There’s a much wider, much more effective array of options out there for you to try. The first step is educating yourself, and you may well be starting out on a journey that takes you to permanent relief from your neuroma pain.